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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by…
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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

by Alan Bradley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Flavia de Luce (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,790475970 (3.86)1 / 800
  1. 143
    Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (lorin77)
  2. 102
    The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (clif_hiker, 47degreesnorth)
  3. 91
    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (foggidawn)
  4. 81
    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (chinquapin)
  5. 148
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (nysmith)
  6. 84
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (lauranav)
    lauranav: Both show relationships and point of view of a young girl.
  7. 62
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (inbedwithbooks)
    inbedwithbooks: Deze twee boeken vertonen veel gelijkenis, door de hoofdpersonages, nl.jonge rijke betweterige meisjes.
  8. 30
    The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Flavia de Luce has a similar voice as Enola and both are young, precocious and underestimated detectives.
  9. 41
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (citygirl)
    citygirl: Castle is much darker and Flavia is more adorable than creepy (Merricat is quite creepy), but if you're interested in unusual young protagonists, with a very particular world view, try these.
  10. 41
    The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen (raizel)
    raizel: Both stories about brilliant and quirky children were recommended at the same time by my daughter. T.S. Spivet is the more real character and the book is beautifully written. Yes, T.S. Spivet is a boy, but I'm not sexist enough to let that bother me.
  11. 20
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though Sweetness is more of a traditional mystery, it shares with Where'd You Go, Bernadette an endearing, precocious, and entertaining young narrator who pieces together clues from the adult world to solve a mystery. Character interactions are delightfully, humorously depicted.… (more)
  12. 20
    Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes (y2pk)
    y2pk: Pre-teen girl investigating adult crimes, while putting up with her sometimes-strange family and home life. Emma Graham also appears in two other books, Cold Flat Junction and Belle Ruin. They should be read in order.
  13. 10
    The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (47degreesnorth)
  14. 00
    A Man in Uniform by Kate Taylor (starfishian)
  15. 23
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (dara85)
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English (472)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (483)
Showing 1-5 of 472 (next | show all)
A cozy mystery like so many cozy mysteries - set in 1950's England, in a small village, with a body in the garden of a crumbling big old house called Buckshaw. And yet, it is unlike any other cozy mystery that I've read. The amateur sleuth is Flavia de Luce, a wickedly smart 11 year old with a love of chemistry. Flavia is not frightened by the murder, but instead takes it upon herself as a challenge to solve the crime. The story is told by Flavia, and in true cozy mystery style, you know that everything will work out ok. There are a few situations where it is a bit unbelievable that an 11 year old would be able to come up with some of the things she says, but the fact that she loves to read makes it almost believable to me. I have a granddaughter who might be a pretty good match for her. :)

While Flavia is smart, she is also a child in so many ways. She has that innocence that existed in 1950. She fights with her sisters, and believes them when they tell her that she is the unloved one in the family. Her mother is dead and her father lives in his own world.

May 2014 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
I wanted to like this...cute story, cute protagonist, but it seemed to drag on, I couldn't wait to finish. I couldn't help but think that I would probably like this if I were 11 or 12. ( )
  kteeley | Jul 25, 2015 |
This book is about an eleven year old girl who loves chemistry and solving mysteries. She is VERY precocious and has a great sense of humor. Although I loved the book, it is very hard to believe that a girl of eleven would have her abilities. The other characters are amazed as well.
I did enjoy reading this book and will continue with the next; sometimes I have to just let go and believe! ( )
  jenngv | Jun 25, 2015 |
My co-worker Marie suggested this series. After the first 2 pages I was hooked. Big time. It is an incredibly well written story about a young girl in England a decade or so after the second world war. It is a mystery book and I am not really into mysteries but there is so much more to this story. The heroine is amazing, just like I would have liked to be as a kid. If I had been that smart! ( )
  okramsey | May 21, 2015 |
I read this book because it was recommended by my local library. This is a very entertaining mystery that is told by an 11-year-old girl who is interested in chemistry. She tries to solve a murder mystery after a strange man dies in her family's cucumber garden. The story is set in the English countryside shortly after World War II, and it is very enjoyable to follow Flavia as she bicycles around the area with her bicycle named Gladys, searching places for evidence and clues and interviewing interesting characters in her quest to uncover the truth of what happened. The story has the right mix of drama and humor, the descriptions and dialoge are very well written. I listened to this book on audio, and I really liked listening to the narrator. ( )
  AdrienneJS | May 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 472 (next | show all)
It's a rare pleasure to follow Flavia as she investigates her limited but boundless-feeling world. And it's nice to know she'll be back.
 
Impressive as a sleuth and enchanting as a mad scientist (“What a jolly poison could be extracted from the jonquil”), Flavia is most endearing as a little girl who has learned how to amuse herself in a big lonely house.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradley, Alanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Entwistle, JayneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Unless some sweetness at the bottom lie, who cares for all the crinkling of the pie?

--William King, The Art of Cookery (1708)
Dedication
For Shirley
First words
It was as black in the closet as old blood.
Quotations
That means King George the Sixth, and King George the Sixth is not a frivolous man.
It is not unknown for fathers with a brace of daughters to reel off their names in order of birth when summoning the youngest, and I had long ago become accustomed to being called "Ophelia Daphne Flavia, damn it."
It occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. No... eight days a week.
My particular passion was poison.
"I have forgot much, Cynara! Gone with the wind,
...
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! In my fashion"

It's from his Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae. Perhaps you know of it? I shook my head. It's very beautiful, I said.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
Publisher series
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Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.

In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction — eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950 — and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told take of deceptions — and a rich literary delight.

-----------------------------

For very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, the discovery of a dead snipe on the doorstep of Buckshaw, the crumbling de Luce country seat, was a marvellous mystery — especially since this particular snipe had a rather rare stamp neatly impaled on its beak. Even more astonishing was the effect of the dead bird on her stamp-collector father, who appeared to be genuinely frightened. Soon Flavia discovers something even more shocking in the cucumber patch and it's clear that the snipe was a bird of very ill omen indeed.

As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides it is up to her to piece together the clues and solve the puzzle. Who was the man she heard her father arguing with? What was the snipe doing in England at all? Who or what is the Ulster Avenger? And, most peculiar of all, who took a slice of Mrs Mullet's unspeakable custard pie that had been cooling by the window...?

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It is the summer of 1950, and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events. For Flavia, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.… (more)

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